CHB responded to my declaration of love in one concise, CHB style paragraph that concluded with the following: "I would love to be able to spend more time with you. I hope for that potential as well."
He wanted me to move out to Utah. He wanted to know me. This was happening.
I was elated and then, with a jolt, immediately paralyzed by fear. My thoughts morphed into piranhas, their ugly little spear teeth attacking my psyche with merciless frenzy.
First round: Piranhas 1/Krisanne 0
During this round, I suffered a slew of Krisanne related worry. "What if I can't find a job?" "What if I can't find a place to live?" "What if he decides I'm not cool enough or interesting enough or pretty enough or enough enough?" "What if, in the end, I am alone?"
Second round: Piranhas 2/Krisanne 0
During this round, I suffered a slew of CHB related worry (which was really just another form of Krisanne related worry). "What if he's afraid of commitment because of his divorce?" "What if he decides this is too fast? Too soon? Too much?" "What if he is overwhelmed?"
What if...what if...what if...
It was at that moment of the great WHAT IFS that I knew I had to radically shift my thought process. My 'Aha!' moment came when I realized that this move to Utah wasn't about CHB. Not really. This move was about me overcoming my fears of loving fully and being loved fully. I had been so hurt by my previous marriage that I had closed myself off to love. For almost a decade I engaged in a string of long distance relationships because they were safe. They were removed. They didn't require too much of me. At last I had reached a place in my spiritual development where I was ready for a real life, honest to goodness, close distance relationship. Whether or not this real life relationship with CHB worked out was besides the point. The point was that I was choosing to be courageous. I was choosing to cast off the protective armor so carefully forged by my fears and be vulnerable. I was choosing to offer up my heart in all of its naked glory.
It didn't escape me that this move to Utah would also give CHB a chance to cast off his fears and choose to walk with me into that space of not knowing. Together we had the opportunity to take up residence in the fiery center of things where the best and fiercest healing takes place.
And so with my "Aha" moment carefully tucked away,I packed my bags two months later and settled my body and heart in Provo, Utah. In the 18 months since, CHB and I have fought tooth and nail to be free of our fears and open to love. It has been painful at times. It has been exhausting at times. And it has been the most meaningful endeavor of my life. I think this journey of ours is so poignantly summarized in the words of Ezekiel:
"A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh."
I am trading in my heart of stone for a heart of flesh and in so doing have gained the heart of a good man, the love of my life, CHB.
Final Round: Krisanne and CHB 34589723492837594385723948729348752934875/Piranhas incinerated